Test your knowledge of the year’s top trends with Game of the Year

9 hours 27 minutes ago

Is Wakanda real? What’s up with that racoon on the skyscraper? Is it Laurel, or is it Yanny? And who exactly is Kiki?

Take a stroll through Google Search trends and you’ll discover a lot of fun stuff about the year, from royal weddings and major news events to unexpected memes and breakthrough stars. And while the headlines of 2018 will look pretty familiar, what trended the most on Search can be quite surprising. How well do you know what the world searched for this year?

Game of the Year preview

Meet Game of the Year. Part of Year in Search 2018—our annual roundup of top trends of the past 12 months—Game of the Year is the first game based on Google Search trends that puts your knowledge of 2018 to the test in an interactive way.

The game is simple: Each player must answer a series of questions about this year’s trending searches, collecting points along the way. The questions get harder as you progress through the game. A special bonus round increases the difficulty even more. Players can also challenge their friends to test their own Google Search trendiness. 

The game’s host was built using Google Cloud and WaveNet, Google’s text-to-speech technology powered by machine learning. Players can adjust the pitch and speed of the game host’s voice, and if a player enters their name at the start, the audio updates on the fly, providing encouragement to players as they progress through the game.

Want to test your own Google Search trendiness? You might even find the answer to the burning question on everyone’s mind: which famous Justin won the Search battle— Bieber, Timberlake, or Trudeau? Play Game of the Year to find out.

Say مرحبا, msawa, mihofnima or hello! to 500 languages on Gboard

10 hours 27 minutes ago

Our goal with Gboard is to help you communicate in a way that’s comfortable and natural, regardless of the language you speak. While the ten most common languages cover about half of the world's population, many more thousands of languages are spoken by the other half. As the Next Billion Users come online, technology needs to support their languages so they can get the most out of using the internet. Today, Gboard offers more than 500 language varieties on Android, bringing a smart, AI-driven typing experience to many more people around the world. This means that more than 90% of the world can now type in their first language with Gboard, with keyboard layouts tailored to each language and typing smarts like autocorrect and predictive text.


In December 2016, Gboard first launched on Android with about 100 language varieties. Over the last few months, more than one hundred new languages have been added to Gboard, such as Nigerian Pidgin (~30 million speakers), Rangpuri (~15 million speakers), Balinese (~3 million speakers), Pontic Greek (~800,000 speakers) and many more.


A quick look at the layouts below shows the sheer diversity of input methods used across the world every day:

Gboard currently supports more than 40 writing systems across the world, ranging from alphabets used across many languages, like Roman and Cyrillic, to scripts that are used for only one language, like Ol Chiki (used for Santali).

Building technology that works across languages is important: without a keyboard tailored to your language, simple things like messaging friends or family can be a challenge. Often, keyboard apps don’t support the characters and scripts used for languages with a smaller speaking population. As an example, the Nigerian language "Ásụ̀sụ̀ Ị̀gbò" is impossible to type on an English keyboard. Plus, wouldn't it be frustrating to see nearly every word you type incorrectly autocorrected into another language?


Many of Gboard’s newly added languages are traditionally not widely written, such as in newspapers or books, so they’re rarely found online. But as we spend more time on our phones on messaging apps and social media, people are now typing in these languages more than ever. The ability to easily type in these languages lets people communicate with others in the language they would normally speak face-to-face as well.


How we add new languages to Gboard

In addition to designing a new keyboard layout, every time a new language is added to Gboard we create a new machine learning language model. This model trains Gboard to know when and how to autocorrect your typing, or to predict your next word. For languages like English, which has only about 30 characters and large amounts of written materials widely available, this is easy. For many of the world's languages, though, this process is much harder.


In order to train our machine learning language models, we need a text corpus (which is a database of lots of available texts written in a particular language). Often, finding text data in these languages can be challenging. When we can’t find data online, we’ll share a list of writing prompts with native speakers, so we can create new text corpora from scratch. (You can read more about our crawling efforts for these languages in one of our recent research papers.)


Next, we focus on the layout design. Layout design for a new language on Gboard requires careful investigation and research to fit in all the characters in a way that makes sense to native speakers. If there isn’t a lot of information for the language available online, we'll analyze text corpora to figure out which characters to include and to determine how frequently they’re used.


Depending on the language, we may tailor aspects of the layout, like the set of digits—for example, while English uses 0123456789, Hindi and other Indian languages written in Devanagari use ०१२३४५६७८९. Once we've built support for a language, we always invite a group of native speakers to test and fill out a survey to understand their typing experience.


To see if your language is already supported in our latest Gboard release in the Play Store, check out the list of supported languages in our help center.

DaedTech Digest: Where To Go This Winter? Seriously, What Do You Think?

5 days ago

Let’s do something a little different today. With the digest posts, I’ve been answering questions about slow travel and chronicling our adventures.  But today, I’d like to get a little more interactive. Where Should We Go for the Winter? It’s that time of year again, and I don’t mean the Christmas holiday.  I mean, it is that time […]

The post DaedTech Digest: Where To Go This Winter? Seriously, What Do You Think? appeared first on DaedTech.

  
Erik Dietrich

Year in Search: Movies, TV, music and sports we searched for in 2018

6 days 9 hours ago

Curious which flicks, footballers and masters of falsetto have the fiercest fans? Year in Search might have a clue for you.

You can explore both the global and country-specific trend lists here, but we also wanted to dive deeper into the leagues, genres and styles that captured people’s attention in the world of sports and entertainment in 2018.

MusicOur feet were tapping and our fingers were typing as we searched for these artists, the top trending in each major musical genre this year:

MoviesThese are the big gainers from the big screen, trending the most in 2018:

TVAny of these shows have you glued to the tube? Here are the binge watches that shot up the charts as top trending shows in 2018.

Sports TeamsFrom championship teams to blockbuster trades, these are the franchises that got people searching this year and are top trending within their leagues:

The Year in Search 2018

6 days 19 hours ago

Every day, people turn to Search to explore the world of information on the web. They come looking for everything from news and helpful how-tos to song lyrics and easy dinner recipes.


As each year closes, Google Trends data reflects not only these everyday queries, but also the moments, people, ideas, and questions that made that trip around the sun so unique. During a year of highs and lows, the Year in Search highlights all the ways people continued to search for “good”—and this year, it was more than ever.

2018 saw a number of major elections around the world—in the U.S. the top searched “how to” question was “how to register to vote.” In a year when we said goodbye to many cultural icons, like Anthony Bourdain and Aretha Franklin, people searched for how they, too, could influence the next generation, asking ”how to be a good role model.” And when first responders rescued a team of soccer players from a cave in Thailand, the world was inspired — searches for “scuba diving lessons near me” increased by 110 percent that week.


We searched for good news of championships, medal counts and royal weddings, and sought out bright spots throughout the year. We also searched for how to be a good citizen, how to be a good friend, and how to be a good dancer. (Perhaps with the help of some Fortnite GIFs.)


Celebrate all the good the world searched for in 2018, and explore the top trending lists this year at Google.com/2018.

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Is It Possible to Have a Company with No Office Politics?

6 days 22 hours ago

It’s been a little while since my last reader question post, hasn’t it?  Well, let’s do something about that today. Today’s subject is office politics.  I’m pretty much always game to talk about this subject, as regular readers know.  Except, rather than dissecting them in-situ, I’ll talk about the idea of companies avoid them altogether. […]

The post Is It Possible to Have a Company with No Office Politics? appeared first on DaedTech.

  
Erik Dietrich

DaedTech Digest: How to Make Money While Vagabonding?

1 week 5 days ago

This is an interesting premise for the week’s digest post.  I say this because I think it arose from somebody misunderstanding why and how I have money. There is a small population segment that slow travels and makes a living blogging about the same.  But we are not part of that segment, weekly digests about […]

The post DaedTech Digest: How to Make Money While Vagabonding? appeared first on DaedTech.

  
Erik Dietrich

Employment Teaches You How Not to be a Free Agent: You Have Stuff to Unlearn

1 week 6 days ago

Recently, I was doing something that occupies a surprising amount of my time these days: using LinkedIn for lead gen.  This involves researching companies, connecting with people, and, occasionally, consuming LinkedIn. It was in that latter capacity that I stumbled across this post, from Jonathan Stark.  I nearly spit out my coffee. It’s funny, right?  […]

The post Employment Teaches You How Not to be a Free Agent: You Have Stuff to Unlearn appeared first on DaedTech.

  
Erik Dietrich

Imagining new ways to learn Morse code’s dots and dashes

2 weeks 1 day ago

We first met Emmett at Adaptive Design Association, an organization near Google’s NYC office that builds custom adaptations for children with disabilities. Communicating for him is difficult—he uses a clear plastic word board and looks at specific squares to try and get across what he wants to say. We thought we might be able to help.

At the time, we were working on a special Morse Code layout for Gboard. With its simple dot and dash encoding, Morse is a good fit for assistive tech like switch access and sip-and-puff devices. Emmett was hoping to learn Morse as a more robust form of communication, and we wanted to make a small game to help him learn the new alphabet.

Our first attempt was a small connect-the-dots spelling toy that drew Emmett's favorite cartoon character and only took a few days to build. After watching Emmett get set up with his switches and start excitedly conquering pieces of the little Morse toy, we knew we wanted to do more. We partnered with Adaptive Design on a 48 hour hackathon, where independent designers and game developers worked with Emmett and another 4 kids to prototype games that made Morse code fun to learn.

Here's more on how we partnered with Adaptive Design to create the prototype games.

The kids played the role of creative directors, using their imagination to set the vision for their own games. Each game reflected their interests and personalities. Hannah’s passion for music led to a game where you play notes by typing them in Morse. Matthew combined his interest in soccer and spy thrillers to make a game where you shoot soccer balls at targets by typing their corresponding Morse letters. Emmett made a maze you solve writing different letters. Ben, who likes trains, made a game where YouTube videos are shown on a train once the correct letters are typed in Morse Code. And Olivia’s love for talent shows led to a game called “Alphabet’s Got Talent.”

We’re posting the code for each independent team's games on the Experiments with Google website, where you can also find open-source examples that will help you get started with your own Morse-based apps. If you’re a developer, we hope these resources will inspire you to get involved with the community and make a difference by building your own accessibility projects.

DaedTech Digest: Deciding How Long We Should Stay

2 weeks 4 days ago

It’s been a few weeks now since the last DaedTech digest.  In that one, I chronicled the last little bit of our trip to Vermont. We haven’t gone anywhere since then.  Not really, I mean.  We’ve been back and forth to Illinois a few times, visiting family and taking care of logistics.  But that hardly […]

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Erik Dietrich

Fighting the “loneliness epidemic” at work: Dan Schawbel on creating real connections in the Age of Isolation

3 weeks 5 days ago

In this interview, author and consultant Dan Schawbel talks about the real threat of workplace isolation, the way technology increasingly keeps us apart, and how leaders of the future can shift their approach from managing workers to managing people.

The post Fighting the “loneliness epidemic” at work: Dan Schawbel on creating real connections in the Age of Isolation appeared first on RescueTime Blog.

Jory MacKay

Happy Thanksgiving, 2018!

3 weeks 5 days ago

Hello there, DaedTech readers!  In what has sort of been an annual Thanksgiving tradition (I do it some years), I’d like to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!  As in this past years, please enjoy this drawing by my wife and business partner, Amanda.  And please enjoy your holiday. For those outside the US, Thanksgiving is […]

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Erik Dietrich